Taiwanese F-16 Fighter Pilot Criticized for Packing Boxes of Mochi in Jet

In a move that might make Top Gun’s Maverick smile, a mid-level officer was reported to be transporting two boxes of mochi in his cockpit, according to Taiwan News.

Air Force 401st Tactical Composite Wing Colonel Kuo Chih-hua (郭志華) was able to positively identify the officer and said that the branch would be issuing a reprimand for carrying a deemed contraband item.

The officer in question was recalled from action and an investigation was launched into the matter, but it was later determined that no punishment would be doled out. Still, Kuo has requested that all units refocus on flight discipline and reiterate all regulations in order to ensure that future incidents are avoided. Air Force personnel are actively discouraged from carrying personal items on board; instead, they are to ask ground crew for assistance or put all items in the cargo hold.

A high-speed camera was able to capture the cockpit’s contents, even able to discern the brand of mochi: Tzen Chi Mochi, a popular, high-end brand from Hualien. The mid-level officer insisted that the snacks were not for him, but for his division commander, who asked him to use the multimillion-dollar aircraft to pick some up while he was in Hualien for training.

Photo via Tzen Chi Mochi

Tzen Chi Mochi stated that they disapproved of the pilot’s actions, as “placing the product in direct sunlight would hurt its taste and texture,” according to the Straits Times.

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